The New ‘Tiger King’ Reunion Episode Is A Final Middle Finger To Joe Exotic

Key figures from Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King have reunited for a bonus epilogue episode, using their time in the spotlight to show off their new looks — and rue the day they ever met zoo owner and convicted felon Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic. 

The Tiger King and I, released overnight, shows seven of Exotic’s former employees and business partners voicing their deeply-held opinions about the rogue tiger botherer.

It’s a lot, as exhibited by former zookeeper Erik Cowie, who said that Exotic deserves to see out his 22-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and attempting to orchestrate the murder of animal rights activist Carole Baskin. 

When asked if Exotic should walk free, Cowie said “No. Not ‘no’, but ‘Fuck no.’

“Doing 22 years of federal time… He’s like, 56, something like that? Yeah, he’s going to die in there. Good riddance.”

That low opinion was shared by former zoo manager Jeff Reinke, who reiterated that Exotic would constantly belittle staff, and “would fire somebody just because he needed to fire somebody.”

Jeff Lowe, who eventually took control of the zoo, said his portrayal as a “villain” was sensationalised. John Finlay, Exotic’s former husband, flashed his new teeth while claiming the cover-up of his Joe Exotic tattoo is now complete.

Others were even clearer in their disdain for Exotic.

Rick Kirkham, the TV producer who tried to sell Exotic’s story before Netflix ever rocked up, said he “sold out” his journalistic integrity by not reporting the zoo owner to law enforcement authorities for his alleged cruelty towards animals.

“I regret ever meeting Joe Exotic,” he said.

One of the only positive representations of Exotic comes from Kelci “Saff” Saffery, who may have lost more than anyone else featured in the special (an arm, in case you had forgotten).

After clarifying that fact he prefers he/him pronouns — and the fact he isn’t too upset by the original series fudging those descriptors — Saff said “Joe did a lot of messed up stuff, that’s a fact, and that’s shown, and now the entire world knows it.

“But he did a lot of good things, too.”

That said, Saff revealed he’d trust the tiger over Exotic if given the chance.

It was a lot, and that’s without the input of Baskin, who gave her own lengthy interview to the Tampa Bay Times before the episode hit the streaming service.

The Tiger King and I is available on Netflix right now, so get to it.